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This article presents a contemporary overview of underwater acoustic communication (UWAC) and investigates physical layer aspects on cooperative transmission techniques for future UWAC systems. Taking advantage of the broadcast nature of wireless transmission, cooperative communication realizes spatial diversity advantages in a distributed manner. The current literature on cooperative communication focuses on terrestrial wireless systems at radio frequencies with sporadic results on cooperative UWAC. In this article, we summarize initial results on cooperative UWAC and investigate the performance of a multicarrier cooperative UWAC considering the inherent unique characteristics of the underwater channel. Our simulation results demonstrate the superiority of cooperative UWAC systems over their point-to-point counterparts.